These 10,000+ horsepower engines go from zero to 100 in less than a half of a second. You can see the flames burst out of the pipes as they take off, and watch as they fly down the racetrack, reaching the finish line in less than 10 seconds. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss the whole race! For all racing fans, the NHRA Fall Nationals are an experience to remember, and at the Texas Motorplex, you’ll enjoy it even more.
The setup is amazing at this track with superhigh grandstands, tons of balcony seating, tower suites, and Champions Club VIP benefits like catering and climate-controlled suites. Whether your seats are in the VIP section or general seating, you’ll be treated like VIPs no matter what while you are here. Every pass is a pit pass, so you don’t have to pay extra to get in the pit and talk to the drivers. And children under 12 are usually free, so bring the kids, too.
You can watch the crew work on the cars before and after runs in the pit area, and there is an autograph session where you’ll be able to get autographs of your favorite racers. This is a four-day event, and you can camp on site the entire weekend for about $50. You definitely cannot beat that price. And if you aren’t staying for the weekend, don’t worry, parking is free, and they have special spots for rigs.
Tickets for the AAA Texas Fall Nationals vary from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on where you want to sit and what amenities you desire. If you are camping or staying for the whole weekend, the price is the same whether you stay for one night or all four days. Children under 12 have been free in the past.
Just 52 miles from Fort Worth and 38 miles from Dallas, you’ll find the Texas Motorplex in Northeastern Texas. In fact, if you want to visit Houston or San Antonio, they’re only a few hours away too. On US-287, you can get to the park from I-45, I-35E, or TX-34. Even large rigs have no trouble getting to the park here because most of the roads are two- and four-lane highways right up until you get to the turnoff into the parking lot.
If you’re not camping here, the racetrack provides a large area for motorhomes in the eastern section of the main parking lot. There is a roped-off area just for rigs. However, these are not overnight parking spaces. If you want to stay overnight, you have to stay in the campground area. If you’ve left your RV at a different campground and drove another vehicle, there are four huge parking lots for spectators, as well as Champion’s Club parking, AAA parking, ADA parking, suite parking, red key parking, and gold key parking. Parking is usually free regardless of the lot.
Ellis County provides several public transportation services if you need them. The local bus service has bus stops all over the county, including Ennis. In addition, they have two different public shuttle services that are available Monday through Saturday. Your other options include car rental, taxicabs, or you can use a rideshare app.
One of the best things about camping at the Motorplex is that the fun doesn’t have to end when the races are over each day. Just head back to the campground and continue the party there. Spots are first-come, first-served, so you need to get there early because these spots are popular and fill up fast. Utilities are not present, but there is a water station on the northwest side of the park, and showers are available. Pets are not allowed at this event, so your furbaby has to stay at home.
If you cannot get a spot at the track, the Arlington/Dallas KOA is just 45 minutes away near Dallas. With several hundred campsites, you may not need to worry about getting a spot. From back-ins to pull-throughs, deluxe to sites with patios, you have a plethora of amenities to enjoy. Separately, you can find almost a dozen other RV accessible campgrounds in and around Ennis.
Yes, it’s a big place but no, you cannot bring your bike, moped, golf carts, or any other wheeled vehicles. You will just have to wear comfy shoes and get some exercise walking around wherever you want to go. Of course, motorized wheelchairs are welcome. ADA parking is in the main parking lot and they have golf carts for ADA assistance if needed.
Ennis, Texas is mighty hot, even in October, so make sure you pack shorts and tank tops to stay cool. However, the evening temps can get a bit chilly, so pack some warmer clothes as well, such as blue jeans and a light jacket. Don’t forget those comfortable walking shoes and maybe a shirt with your favorite driver's name, too.
If you want to get through the line faster, remember not to bring items that are not allowed or need to be checked. Some of these include coolers, cups, outside food or drink, weapons, drugs, umbrellas, glass or metal containers, and pets. You can pack a small backpack or fanny pack with a camera, binoculars, and other stuff you may need. Also, flags or banners are okay as long as they are not too big or in any way offensive.
The Texas sun can be brutal, so make sure you have sunblock and a hat or scarf. Wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes. You’ll likely need bug spray when it gets dark, and once you get back to the campground, it’s a definite necessity. Be sure to keep a first aid kit and any medications you need in the RV.
There are no RV utilities at the Texas Motorplex, so you will need to power up your generator if you intend to use your stove for cooking. No open fires are allowed, but you are welcome to use a grill, BBQ pit, smoker, or camp stove. Pack charcoal and fire starter for the grill. If you forgot something, no need to worry, Ennis has several stores where you can shop for just about anything.
Tired of racetrack food and BBQ? Take a run into Ennis, and you’ll find a plethora of eateries at your fingertips. Not only do they have several fancy restaurants, but they also have a few Tex-Mex places, Asian cuisine, and even a food truck that serves Lebanese food. If you’d rather just hit a drive-thru, there are plenty of those, too.
The concession stands at the track are full of awesome food choices from nachos to burgers and fries. You’ll also find beer, soft drinks, water, and other beverages at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals. You can also get souvenirs from the souvenir shop near the Media Center. Some of the repeat vendors in the past include AAA, Lowes, Menards, O’Reilly, Budweiser, Pepsi, and Dos Equis.
Make sure you leave any weapons and fireworks at home because they’re not allowed at the Texas Motorplex. Security reserves the right to search all bags and to refuse entry of any item deemed inappropriate. If you need security for any reason, contact one of the staff or call 911 if it’s an emergency.
It may be getting cold in the rest of the country in October, but in Ennis, Texas, it’s usually still in the 70s and 80s. The average high temperature in autumn often lands in the upper 70s or low 80s, and the lows are typically about 50 to 55 degrees. Although it has been known to reach 100 and drop down to the 40s.
Need medical help? If it’s an emergency, call 911 right away. If it’s a minor illness or injury, go to one of the first aid stations on the spectator side next to the concession office or behind the souvenir building on the pit side. But if you need to take a trip to the hospital yourself, there are several within a 10-mile radius. The closest is just 10 minutes down US-287.